Museum After Dark: Modern Design – Collecting from the Jazz Age to the Space Age


6pm - 8pm

Fairfield Museum Handmade ExhibitionMuseum After Dark
Modern Design: Collecting from the Jazz Age to the Space Age
Thursday, November 19  |  6-8pm  |  Members: Free; Non-members: $5.

Join John Stuart Gordon, the Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Yale University Art Gallery for a lively lecture about his role in acquiring design objects for Yale’s collection and the current decorative arts market. What objects and eras are hot among collectors? What aesthetics and issues are of interest to auction houses, scholars, and museums?

John Stuart Gordon has a Ph.D. from Boston University and is the author of A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 (Yale University Press, 2011). He specializes in American design from the late 19th through 21st centuries. In addition, he supervises the Furniture Study, the Yale University Art Gallery’s large study collection of American furniture and wooden objects.

Description of  A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950:

Americans living in the first decades of the twentieth century felt they inhabited a modern age. A spirit of excitement and experimentation transformed the world around them, in particular the consumer goods that filled their homes and offices. A Modern World draws upon the renowned collection of American decorative arts at the Yale University Art Gallery to explore the appearance and dissemination of modern design in the United States. This catalogue organizes roughly 300 examples of silver, glass, industrial design, furniture, medals, jewelry, and printed textiles into thematic groups that chart the aesthetic and social trends that defined American design from the Jazz Age to the Space Age. The authors consider modernism broadly—from handmade luxury goods to mass-produced housewares—establishing a context for the objects within larger international developments in architecture, avant-garde art, and scientific innovation. New research and compelling juxtapositions offer an expanded understanding of the era, and designer biographies and corporate chronologies help make this catalogue a valuable resource.


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